‘Our children need to know’ [with gallery]

Published 1:13 am Tuesday, January 22, 2019

MLK organizers want kids to understand their history

Since 1983, Florala locals Kimberly Moore, Selinda Carson and Pastor Nathaniel Belcher have kept the Martin Luther King Jr. March a tradition in Florala.

Yesterday morning, a group of Florala locals marched around the city singing songs, and educating children about the history of the slain civil rights advocate.

Carson said that she has kept the march going ever since Missy Lane started it in 1983.

“This is just something that Missy Lane started and I refuse to let it die,” Carson said. “And we are going to keep it going for as long as I can.”

Moore said that the children are the reason they keep the march going.

“Our children need to know the history,” Moore said. “And to keep the dream alive, we have to teach it to them. They are our present, our future and we have to keep this march alive for them.”

She also said that adults need to be leaders for the youth of Florala.

“We as adults need to take the hands of our children and lead them,” Moore said. “We have to lead them to the future. I feel like history has really died with our kids not knowing about what this day is and what this day represents. That is why we try to keep this tradition going. Our children need to be aware of the struggles that our people went through.”

Belcher said that this day and march is important to the people of Florala because it is a way to remember the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“It is a great feeling to keep this tradition alive,” Belcher said. “If we keep it alive then the people that were not born during that time can understand the importance of showing love and nonviolence that Dr. King taught.”

He said that several things go into the real reason why they march.

“It’s about the kids, the freedom, the victory, the joy and the unity,” Belcher said. “One of the things that Dr. King said was that he wanted to see the day where his four children would be judged by the context of their character and not by the color of their skin, so I want our kids to be judged by their character as well.”

The organizers were worried about Monday’s cooler weather affecting the march, but after it was all said and done, they were excited with the turnout.

“Before we had the march we were a little worried about the weather,” Belcher said. “But it turned out to be a beautiful day. We appreciate the people that marched with us. It was a really good day.”

Mayor of Florala Terry Holley, who also participated in the march yesterday morning, said that these types of traditions are important for the city of Florala.

“It all goes back to tradition,” Holley said. “That is the key to success for anything for all traditions. If we don’t keep doing them then they go by the wayside, and people forget a lot in a hurry. The only way we can keep this tradition going is through our youth, remembering our past and planning for the future.”